The Do's and Don'ts of Remarketing | AltusHost

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Remarketing

  • Category : Marketing
  • Posted on : Jul 06, 2016
  • By : AltusHost
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It doesn’t matter what you do online, you’re primary goal is always the same: get more people to buy your products and services. Even though this might seem like a pretty simple game plan, in this day and age, getting your targeted audience to actually buy your products and services is nothing short of a complete nightmare.

How come? – Well, thanks to the expansion of Internet, the competition is become insane today. Regardless of the fact how special or unique your products or services might be, there are still thousands of companies out there who are targeting the same clients as you are.

Like that wasn’t enough, numbers have shown that every single one of your direct or indirect competitors is investing far more money into its marketing than ever before. If you don’t have the firepower, and I’m talking about money here, of course, to match their budget and efforts on this global marketing battlefield – you’ll have to go out of your way in order to grab your piece of the pie. That’s why most online businessmen are focusing on working smarter, instead of harder.

They know that no one really has the luxury today to make mistakes with their marketing.

Seeing how it’s become insanely hard to acquire new leads and actual sales opportunities, marketers must do everything in their power to make sure that none of their prospects slip through their fingers.

This is where remarketing comes to shine.

Remarketing is one of those tactics that every serious online marketer needs to think about. Figuring out why some of your visitors aren’t converting yet, and what you need to do in order to recapture their attention and make them interested in giving your products and services another try or look, is something that could definitely improve your success rates and give your prospect a chance to see that you truly care about them and their business.


There are a lot of practices and tactics that you can use to drive people back to your site.

Tailored custom direct messages and proposals to consumers who abandoned shopping carts is just the tip of the iceberg. I don’t know about you, but I mostly use these so-called remarketing tags that I install on my pages, which allow me to track my visitors all over the Web and present them with my messages over and over again until they finally convert.

However, even though this sounds simple, remarketing is a pretty tough cookie to crack. In order to maximize your exposure and make the most out of your efforts here, you really need to know what you’re doing. You need to know who you’re targeting and how, so you don’t end up spamming your visitors with useless content.

So, in order to help you, our dear audience, learn how to successfully remarket your targeted crowd, I have decided to reach out to a couple of online experts and ask them to share their best remarketing tips and tricks with us:

What are The Do’s and Don’ts of Remarketing?


My name is Ryan Scollon & I am a Marketing Team Leader at a company called Bowler Hat. I tend to take care of our PPC & SEO clients and one of my favorite elements of PPC is remarketing. I like it because it can be cheap and is targeted at an audience that you are already pretty sure is an idea customer as they have already been to your website.

1. Don’t annoy purchasers – most accounts that I have orphaned over the last few years tend to be showing remarketing banners to everyone who has been to the website, even if they have purchased/converted. Configure your audience targeting to only shows ads to people who have not yet converted.

2. Narrow down your targeting – Do you offer more than one service/product? Don’t show remarketing banners for a certain service if the person was actually interested in something else that you offer. In your targeting settings, you can show ads to people who have been to a specific page so make sure you make the most of it.

3. Limit your ad appearance – Don’t pester people by showing ads on every single website for the next 30 days. Limit how many times your ads show throughout the day so people don’t get bored of seeing your ads

4. Give them a reason to return – Provide some sort of offer or reason for them to return to your website. Some people like to use remarketing as a simple reminder but they can be more effective if you provide a reason for them to return.

5. Review your placements – Don’t waste impressions on websites that are not effective. Sometimes your ads will show on low-quality websites or apps that deliver a poor click through rate so make sure to exclude those from your campaign.


1. DON’T: Create Blanket Messaging
DO: Provide Relevant Content

Hi, my name is Jan Roos and I’m the founder of Expert Engines. In all advertising, relevance is the name of the game. You need to tailor your advertising message to where clients are in the buying funnel. If you think of it like a modern relationship, bad advertising is like going down on one knee with a ring on the first date if you go too far too fast. You have the data to see where your clients are at, and if you make the right message you can get them to the next step. It’s as simple as that.

2. DON’T: Sell Past the Close
DO: Include a ‘Kill Audience’

A huge mistake from a branding perspective that we see all the time is people who continue to remarket to people who have already bought the product! Because they have had to go through the cart to purchase, they often receive the most aggressive, high budget abandoned cart ads. The simple fix to this is to add purchasers as a negative audience for your remarketing efforts – or better yet to create a custom ‘thank you’ sequence, maybe with some helpful content on how to use their purchase

3. DON’T: Treat all of your Visitors the Same
DO: Segment for the Highest Quality Visitors

There is a world of difference between someone who accidentally clicks on your website and immediately bounces and someone who spends 20 minutes clicking around every page they can. Sounds like a no-brainer, except for the fact that most advertisers don’t make this distinction. As soon as you have the traffic, you should set up a special ‘highly engaged’ audience based on pageviews or time on site. Create separate ad groups and watch your ROI skyrocket

4. DON’T: Carpet Bomb your Visitors’ Internet Experience
DO: Set Impression Caps

Facebook caps impressions for user experience to make sure they aren’t seeing the same ad every day. However, this is not the case with google. The default setting is not to cap impressions, which means one user could be seeing your ad on the 80% of the internet that sells inventory through google. And you’ll be paying for it! No comment on why google chooses this, but the way out is by going to Advanced settings > Ad delivery > frequency capping. 3x per day is a good place to start.

5. DON’T: Limit your Options with Retargeting Platforms
DO: Take the Time to Learn Google and Facebook or Hire an Expert

I won’t name names here but we get questions all the time about some of the popular retargeting platforms that charge as a percentage of ad spend. It’s not because of the cost, but because of the flexibility that these platforms take away. For instance, the minimum audience for google and facebook is currently 100, and the last time I checked with the major platform guys it was still 1000. That means you can go 10x more granular with your campaign when going native – which means more targeted messaging (point #1)!

Like you said, too many people chuck the tag on their page and start spamming people to death. I’ll be honest, it worked when remarketing was still relatively new, but it’s terrible these days as people get more savvy and more annoyed by the same ads over and over again. With over 10 years of advertising experience with an agency working for dozens of market leading global brands I am now the founder of my own platform for which we are applying various only marketing channels.


Top 5 DO’s

1. Supplementary product targeting. We at Hiresquare take our remarketing quite seriously. Often people are targeted who didn’t buy something, but how about people who actually bought something? Someone who bought a tablet, may want a sleeve if they didn’t purchase one. Or someone who bought a gaming console needs an extra controller.

2. Target cognitive dissonance. When people bought a high-valued product, they sometimes start doubting if they did the right thing, if they purchased the right product or brand. With advertising, you can take that away. Show an ad that confirms this product is the best choice for them, that they have 5-year warranty, etc.

3. Remarketing in Google Search. Did you know you can set different bids in Google Search for people who visited your site before? Use it to your advantage.

4. Calculate your true additional profit. When you spend $500 on remarketing and it brings in $2,000 you may think the Return On Ad Spend is 4 which may be good for your business. But how much of that $2,000 would you have had if you did not retarget people? Would half of those people buy your product anyway? In that case, the ROAS would be 2, which may not be profitable. This is only applicable if you use remarketing to increase revenue directly.

5. Dynamic remarketing. If you have a large product offering (e-commerce stores, travel sites, etc) use dynamic remarketing to show individual products in your banners which people looked at on your website.

Top 5 Don’ts

1. Set an unlimited daily cap, so people get spammed to death.

2. Treat everyone in the same way.

3. Only use generic banners.

4. Don’t send people just to the homepage with remarketing. This happens far too often, use deeplinks as well.

5. Don’t use just one banner format, you may be shown on far more websites if you have various banner sizes.


I (and everyone else at DragonSearch) love remarketing and all of the opportunities it presents, so your question is right up my alley. Here’s my do’s and don’ts:

What to DO

1. Tag everything, whether you ever actually use it or not. This includes all platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter pixels while also setting up Google Analytics-based audiences. It’s better to have these in place from day 1 and tagging users than wait until you’re ready to go live with a campaign and now need a list to build.

2. Create audiences based on pages or interactions that you know will never result in a prospect or customer. Pages such as careers pages or a customer login page/domain, unless, of course, you’re upselling new services to customers. Once these are created, exclude them in appropriate remarketing campaigns.

3. Consider the platform you’re retargeting on and adjust messaging accordingly – for example, you won’t talk to someone on Facebook the same as you would in a Google remarketing banner. Be more personable on Facebook with your copy and take advantage of all the space you’re given to get your message across to the user.

4. Create separate campaigns for each remarketing initiative, specifically in Google AdWords. This allows for more control when it comes to settings such as day parting and budgeting.

5. Exclude converters of the asset you’re promoting – if you’re promoting a market survey, then make sure you’re excluding converters of that study in that campaign.

What NOT to DO!

1. Don’t retarget to the masses! Break down your website traffic into appropriate funnel stages or audiences to ensure the right message is being delivered at the right time to the right person.

2. Don’t forget to ensure your remarketing audiences are set to *target  and bid *in Google AdWords, and not just to bid-only.

3. Don’t just use 1 ad size or message in a campaign. Always be testing and ensure you use as many ad sizes as possible to ensure maximum coverage on the ad network.

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